Monday, July 15, 2013

Album Review: Bob Mould – Body of Song

After the rather strange dance experiment of 2002’s Modulate, 2005's Body of Song was billed as Bob Mould’s ‘return to rock’.  It opens with the reasonably heavy Circles which has a decent tune, but (Shine Your) Light Love Hope and I Am Vision, I Am Sound hark back to Modulate with their dance beats and vocodered, auto-tuned to death vocals.  Really quite jarring.
Thankfully the rest of the album improves on this.  Underneath Days has a strong guitar riff and real passion in the vocals along with impassioned rockers like Paralyzed and Best Thing.  Elsewhere, Days of Rain introduces an ‘adult-oriented’, relaxed, mid-paced sound which really suits Mould, and it’s replicated on High Fidelity and Missing You.  It’s the type of thing Paul Westerberg manages quite well.
Penultimate track Gauze of Friendship is the most emotional track, all busted relationships and sepia-described memories, with a fine guitar solo thrown in for good measure.  The album concludes on a very strong note with the parched, downbeat rocker Beating Heart The Prize, possibly the most anthemic track here and yet another blinding guitar solo.
It’s not the most cohesive album Bob Mould has put his name to but, dance-pop experiments aside, is a good collection of songs.